'Don't Worry' — Author Lets Kids Access Books During Shutdown

Berkeley author Todd Parr waives copyright so parents and teachers can share his book during coronavirus pandemica
Photo credit Doug Sovern/ KCBS Radio

Teachers, parents and celebrities have been reading children’s books through online videos so that kids can still have virtual story time, even while holed up during the coronavirus pandemic and shelter in place orders, However, many are doing so without realizing it is often a copyright infringement. 

Though many noted authors are waiving their rights and granting explicit permission so the practice spreads faster than the virus.

Berkeley's Todd Parr, author of Don't Worry, told KCBS Radio that it seems like a minor act compared to its possible impact on the children who encounter it online.

“These are teachers are big supporters of my work, they buy my books,” Parr said. “To even think about, ‘How much is this costing?’ It doesn’t matter, because how much is it helping?”

Parr is known for his best-selling books that inspire kids with positive messages, which can read as especially empowering in this moment.

“I wrote the ‘Don’t Worry’ books, which seems very relevant now, and giving teachers access to like hey kids are worried, how do we talk to kids and I’m giving them permission to not only read the book, but record them reading the book and share it with their entire class in the spirit of helping kids not worry so much.”

Celebrated children’s author @toddparr of #Berkeley is granting permission to teachers, librarians et al to share his work online during the #coronavirus crisis. Here he reads his bestselling “The Don’t Worry Book” to help kids—and grownups—cope. More on @KCBSRadio Wed morning pic.twitter.com/B7VmUTsaRh

— Doug Sovern (@SovernNation) March 18, 2020